Meditation has been used for hundreds of years to deal with stress and to help focus. Many people have discovered the power of meditation when used during workouts to help give them additional focus and to overcome hardships during competition.
Meditation can mean many things to many people. When used in fitness and endurance training, it is a way of breathing and staying in the zone for optimal performance. Controlled breathing has been used to help keep your heartrate steady during endurance events and uphill climbs. It can also help you on competition day to calm nerves at the start line. Being able to master your heartrate through breathing techniques will enable you to push harder and compete to your full ability without getting your heartrate in a danger zone. Many runners will use this technique by counting their footsteps. Breathe in 1 step and exhale for 3 steps. Using this technique allows them to slow or speed up their pace to their desire, but the rate of breathing remains the same and is controlled. When you see sprinters gasping for breath, they are not in control of their breathing and will not be able to go very far before they run out of breath and are forced to stop. Other sports can benefit from this too. You can alter the counts to customize the sequence to what works best for you. The goal is controlled breaths that help keep your heart rate in check.
Meditation is also used in fitness for greater focus. Many athletes will use imagery to help propel them farther. Let’s pretend you are running a marathon. You are almost to the finish, but feel too tired to continue at the pace that you have been running. Visualize the finish line. Visualize the spectators and loved ones cheering for you and visualize yourself receiving your medal. Visualize how you will feel when you have completed this event. All of that positive energy can help create mini endorphins to help you complete your goal. Many athletes that use meditation claim that they actually finish stronger from all the good vibes they receive from using imagery during their events. This type of meditation can be used in any sport and in any type of event. Visualize you being strong and staying strong. Remind yourself that you can do this and to trust in in your training. The hard work, your training, is already done. The competition is simply a celebration of your training.
Meditation can be a powerful mental tool in sports and fitness. Many sport specific coaches help their clients and teammates with this for greater performance and focus. Power up your game with meditation and unlock your full potential.